A Turkish project to reinterpret and reject some of the hadith (traditions handed down from the Prophet and his Companions) seems to have attracted some media attention. This BBC story, for example, talks of “radical revision” and hints at a religious reformation. The Turkish newspapers that I follow online don’t seem to be making as … Reinterpreting Islam
Like many creationism-watchers, I regularly visit sites such as The Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis, and so on. I like weirdness, and these are good places to find views that are very weird from a mainstream scientific standpoint. Today I ran into a paper in the Answers Research Journal that is high weirdness indeed: “An … High weirdness
Candidates and deities
Today’s This Modern World cartoon should be of interest to those who do “not profess belief in the one true grouping of deities.”
Pew Forum survey on American religion
A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life of 35,000 Americans found that 44% of them have changed affiliations between “major faith traditions,” such as from Baptist to Methodist. 28% have switched between traditions. Protestants make up a bare majority of Americans–51.3%. 16% classify themselves as not affiliated with any faith (despite … Pew Forum survey on American religion
German children’s book against religion
Apparently, the German Family Ministry is trying to get a children’s book critical of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam “to be included on a list of literature considered dangerous for young people.” The book includes religious figures depicted in unflattering, broadly stereotypical ways. Now, it looks like the book is indeed offensive, in the sense that … German children’s book against religion
Occasionally I run into the complaint that without the influence of religious culture, art suffers. Modern art, apparently, is the inevitable result of a civilization that has lost interest in God; it is the sort of ugly, purposeless, offensive stuff you get when art loses track of transcendent ideals. I guess if you believe in … Art, schmart
Putting religion in schools to defend evolution?
John West, an Intelligent Design proponent, writes that religious liberals and even secularists are injecting religion into public school classrooms. They do this by promoting varieties of theology that are warmer toward biological evolution than ID. West might have a point. I don’t trust ID people— in my experience, they’re not reliable sources, putting their … Putting religion in schools to defend evolution?
A cynic’s guide to academic departments
Mathematics: Mathematicians get to make up anything they want as long as it’s consistent. They therefore have a tenuous connection to reality and tend to be susceptible to crank notions. Statistics: Supposed to be about nothing in particular: a statistician can tell you how to analyze data gathered from any field of inquiry. This works … A cynic’s guide to academic departments
Materialists and dualists
There’s an interesting blog-debate between skeptic Steven Novella and intelligent design proponent Michael Egnor. Both Egnor and Novella come from a neuroscience background, though Novella’s materialism is by far the more scientifically mainstream view than Egnor’s dualism. I am entirely in Novella’s camp, I confess. The materialist position is continuous with the rest of science, … Materialists and dualists
Reasonable Doubts interview part 1
I got interviewed by the Reasonable Doubts podcast while I was visiting CFI-Michigan last month. Part 1 of the interview, concerning Islam, is available online now. Reasonable Doubts seems to be an interesting program. It started last year, I hope it catches on.